Daily Prayer

 

Take time every day to intentionally be “one-on-one” with God, sharing with Him your concerns, seeking strength for your challenges, and thanking Him for your many blessings.  This is the Creator of the universe listening and reaching out to you personally.  How awesome is that!

 

Jesus modeled a life of prayer - Mark 1:35, Luke 5:15-16, Luke 6:12 aisle

 

Jesus directs his followers to pray – Matthew 5:43-48, Matthew 6:5-15, Luke 11:1-13, Luke 18:1-7

 

Throughout the Bible we’re instructed to pray – 2 Chronicles 7:14, Jeremiah 29:11-13, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Ephesians 6:18, 1 Timothy 2:8, 2 Corinthians 1:11

 


  

Getting started ~

The following are a few articles that offer models of prayer, either to get you started or to help you grow in your practice of prayer…

 

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name,

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread;

and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us;

and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.  Amen.

 

This model of prayer which Jesus taught to his disciples is a basic means of keeping the individual believer in contact with the Lord.  We are to praise God and give him all glory in life (Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.)  When you pray, keep praise and thanksgiving central to your conversation with God. 

 

We are to ask God to accomplish His will for us in this world (Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.)  Are we willing to trust God’s loving will for us by making our requests to Him, and then accepting His answer of “no” when He sees that this would really be what is best for us?  Can we accept being part of God’s perfect plan versus demanding that God be part of our personal agenda?

 

We should ask God for what we need, and just as important, we should ask God for contentment with enough (Give us this day our daily bread.)

 

Very importantly, we should ask God for forgiveness and for the grace and love we need to forgive others (Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.)  Here your prayer can take the form of self-examination – what’s been said or done, or not said or not done, for which you stand in need of forgiveness.  Accept God’s forgiveness and let go of the past.  Accept, as well, the grace God will grant you to forgive others, and again let go of the past.

 

Now forgiven, ask God to help you avoid the pitfalls of sin before you stumble (Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.)  Get ready though, this will most likely result in some change required of you.  In the words of Psalm 23, God does lead us in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake – we need to be willing to stay on the path.

 

Finally, and you should be aware that this ending isn’t part of Jesus’ words in the Bible (check it out – Luke 11:1-4; Matthew 6:9-13) we are once again called to give all the praise, honor, and glory for what God is accomplishing in us and around us to God alone (For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever, and ever.  Amen.)  Give God the credit, and maintain your proper place in your relationship with God, the highest of powers.

 


 

ACTS

 

Try using the acronym, ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication) as a guide for praying.

Adoration - In our prayers we literally tell our God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—what we think of Him. We adore Him and praise Him for what He has done for us. “I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.” (Psalm 7:17)  The Father created us and the glorious creation around us and takes care of us all. The Son, Jesus, redeemed us through His life on this earth, through His death on the cross, and through His resurrection. The Holy Spirit brings us to faith; yes, the Spirit converts us and guides us in our holy living. 

 

Confession - In our prayers we confess to our God our sins and our sinfulness. The Bible reminds us that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. When we confess our sins and receive God’s forgiveness, we are ready to serve our God with willing hearts. Use Psalm 51:1-2 as a means to memorize the Bible and to practice confession. "Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your unfailing love; according to Your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin." (Psalm 51:1-2) 

 

Thanksgiving - To "thank" we have to "think." As Christians, sometimes we fail to consider the source of our blessings in life, and forget to thank our God for what He has done for us and for what He has given to us. In the Bible we recall how Jesus healed ten lepers of their disease, but the only one truly blessed was the one who returned to give Him thanks. We need to thank our God for all that He had done, and even for all that He will do. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In all things give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ concerning you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) 

 

Supplication - Supplication is "asking" our God for spiritual, mental, relational, and physical needs. This includes health and healing as well as the day-to-day things that we need to support our bodies and our lives as well as the same needs of those around us.. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." (Philippians 4:6) 

 

Remember, to benefit from this or any form or guide in prayer, you’ve actually got to try it.  Spend five minutes tonight and work through ACTS.  Try it again tomorrow morning.  You’ll probably be surprised to find that you’ll want to spend more than five minutes tomorrow night.  Or try for one day setting your watch to an hourly chime and offering up a quick prayer from one ACTS letter throughout the day.  Or spending one entire day on each letter, with every time you get something to drink being the prayer trigger for that one letter throughout the day. To be strengthened in our discipleship/following-of-Jesus, start with daily prayer, and give ACTS a try.


 

P.R.A.Y. for Prayer

Another acronym as a guideline for prayer, take a look at the closing instructions for ACTS to see how PRAY can lend some guidance to our PRAYing.

Praise

Praise God for who He is and for His many awesome attributes.

Tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples. For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised. - 1 Chronicles 16:23-25

Sing with full voice, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slaughtered to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!"  - Revelation 5:12

 

Repent

Confess to God the things about your thoughts, words or deeds which haven’t been right.

For you have no delight in sacrifice; if I were to give a burnt offering, you would not be pleased. The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.  - Psalm 51:16-17

If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

 

Ask

It is right to ask God for things, for help, for healing – both for yourself and for others.

If any of you is lacking, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you. - James 1:5

Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me." - Psalm 50:15

 

Yield

Give your plans, your hopes, your future to God.  Join yourself to Jesus in the Lord’s Prayer and in the garden of Gethsemane in saying, "Not my will be done, but Thy will be done."

We had human parents to discipline us, and we respected them. Should we not be even more willing to be subject to the Father of spirits and live? - Hebrews 12:9

It is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure. - Philippians 2:13 

 


 

Five Finger Prayer

A beautifully simple (and certainly convenient) guide for when you need a hand in expanding your concerns in prayer.

 

1. Your thumb is nearest to you. So begin your prayers by praying for those closest to you. They are the easiest to remember. To pray for our loved ones is, as C. S. Lewis once said, a "sweet duty."  

 

2. The next finger is the pointing finger. Pray for those who teach, instruct and heal. This includes teachers, doctors, and ministers. They need support and wisdom in pointing others in the right direction.  Keep them in your prayers.  

 

3. The next finger is the tallest finger. It reminds us of our leaders. Pray for the president, leaders in business and industry, and administrators. These people shape our nation and guide public opinion. They need God's guidance. Also include our servicemen and women here and abroad who always stand tall in the duty of defending and protecting our nation. They need God's strength and comfort.

 

4. The fourth finger is our ring finger. Surprising to many is the fact that this is our weakest finger; as any piano teacher will testify. It should remind us to pray for those who are weak, in trouble or in pain. They need your prayers day and night.

 

5. And lastly comes our little finger; the smallest finger of all. Which is where we should place ourselves in relation to God and others. The Bible encourages us to humble ourselves, and your pinkie should remind you to pray for yourself. By the time you have prayed for the other four groups, your own needs will be put into proper perspective and you will be able to pray for yourself more effectively.

 

 

 

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